2016 Arizona Wildcats football season countdown: No. 8 individual record



51 BYU


Only eight days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season, when the Arizona Wildcats football team plays Brigham Young on Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

As is customary on this Web site, we will count down the days with an interesting element associated with each day. This year the topic is the top 100 individual records in Arizona’s storied football past.

In past years, we have counted down the top games and highlighted players and some of the top plays in Arizona Wildcats football history. A couple of years ago in our top 100 countdown, we showcased the 1914 team that was responsible for Arizona becoming the “Wildcats”.

Back to this year’s countdown of the top 100 individual records in the 117 years of Arizona football:

Tom Tunnicliffe’s school-record six touchdown passes against Pacific in 1982 was one-third of his output that season.


TD QB Opp Date
6 Tom Tunnicliffe Pacific 10/23/1982
5 Anu Solomon Cal 9/20/2014
5 Anu Solomon at Wash.St. 10/25/2014
5 Willie Tuitama NAU 9/8/2007
5 Willie Tuitama Washington 10/27/2007
5 Keith Smith at Cal 11/2/1996
5 Nick Foles NAU 9/3/2011

No. 8

Most Touchdown Passes, Game: 6, Tom Tunnicliffe, vs. Pacific, Oct. 23, 1982

Pac-12 record: 8, Pat Barnes, vs. Arizona, Nov. 2, 1996

NCAA record: 11, David Klingler, Houston vs. Eastern Washington, Nov. 17, 1990

Scoring summary of Arizona’s 55-7 win over Pacific in 1982 detailing Tom Tunnicliffe’s school-record six touchdown passes as published by the Arizona Republic.

A week after his selection as the Pac-10 offensive player of the week for his performance in a 16-13 upset at Notre Dame, Tom Tunnicliffe dominated Pacific in a 55-7 win at Arizona Stadium to the tune of six touchdown passes and 427 yards, both school records at that time.

The six touchdown passes remain atop the charts at Arizona, an amazing figure inasmuch as it was one-third of Tunnicliffe’s output that season. His 18 touchdown passes in 1982 trailed only Marc Reed’s 20 from 1966 in the Arizona record book at that time.

Tunnicliffe, ever so reserved, told the Arizona Republic of his performance against Pacific: “I felt I could have played better (completed 21 of 28 passes). But I’m happy with my game. The records — they’re nice. I guess I had a good game.”

He had a great game especially playing with a bruised ring finger which he hurt the previous week against the Fighting Irish.

“It was sore as hell,” Tunnicliffe said. “It bothered me a lot and it still hurts when I throw the ball.”

More incredible about the record-setting night: He did not play in the fourth quarter with the Wildcats well ahead and him needing to nurse his finger.

A side note to the victory over Pacific: It was the first time Arizona wore all white uniforms at home. The Wildcats were 4-1-1 on the road dating to the year previously, including the upset over Notre Dame the week before, and 6-11 at home in the same stretch.

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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